Community organisations are being invited to express their interest in running Leicester’s African Caribbean Centre.
The centre, in Maidstone Road, Highfields, is described as “a well-used and popular venue”, which provides a range of activities and opportunities for local people, as well as acting as a focal point for the city’s African Caribbean community.
Now the Leicester City Council is offering local groups the chance to take over the day-to-day running of the centre, after a recent consultation showed that just over half – 53 per cent – of people who expressed a preference, would like to see a community organisation take on the lease and running of the facility.
The consultation confirmed that the centre is highly valued by users, with some commenting that they have used it since childhood. Visitors to the centre live across the city and many said they use the centre for cultural reasons.
“This result means we want to explore this option further, but we need to ensure any group that takes on this role is the right choice for us and for the community”, said Peter Soulsby, Leicester City Mayor.
“Community organisations will need to provide a business plan to show us they have the capacity, experience and resources to take on the running of the African Caribbean Centre. The business plan must demonstrate a significant expansion of community services, with a particular focus on serving the needs of the African and Caribbean heritage community and strengthening the ongoing connection of the African and Caribbean community with the building.”
The opportunity to apply for running the centre is expected to launch in mid-June, and will remain open for three months.
Support will be available to help community organisations develop business plans, and a strict set of assessment criteria will ensure business plans are realistic and will provide the best services for existing users and communities.